Family man Travis Mitchell died doing what he loved
TRAVIS John Mitchell lived his life at full throttle.
Whether it was at home with his cherished wife Naomi and their three children, on the football field, fishing, waterskiing, catching up with friends or on his motorbike, "Trav" or "Mitch" as he was known to his mates, gave everything he had.
It was on Sunday, riding his KTM 350 EXC bike, that Trav's life was cut short doing what he loved.
The highly experienced dirt bike rider died from injuries he sustained in a crash on a dirt track near Chinchilla-Tara Rd.
DARLING DOWNS IN MOURNING
The 37-year-old's death has sent shockwaves through Chinchilla - the town to which he moved his family six years ago to accept a job at QGC's Condamine Power Station.
Surrounded by her friends and family on Tuesday night, Trav's wife of 15 years Naomi told Chinchilla News the family was coping with the support of both locals and those who had rushed to town.
Naomi said when the family moved to Chinchilla, they settled in quickly.
It was like their Victorian home town, Kyabram, she said.
"We're both country people."
Trav quickly set about entrenching himself in the local community.
He became involved with Chinchilla Motocross Club and then helped pioneer the town's AFL culture, sharing his great love for the game and for Collingwood Magpies.
Trav waved the "Pies" flag proudly, even bearing a large Magpies tattoo on his leg.
"He was selling the AFL message before there was a club in town," friend and team mate Scott Bird said.
Trav was a founding member of Chinchilla Suns and also kick-started the local Auskick program for juniors.
Naomi said he wanted his sons to have a chance to play the game he loved.
At 35, he played in the club's inaugural game in 2013 and even kicked its first goal.
Fittingly, he kicked the final goal in what was a testing year for the fledgling outfit - it failed to win a game that year.
"The greatest thing he brought to the club was his inclusion of everyone and his ability to motivate and inspire," Scott said.
"His body wouldn't always respond, but his heart was in the right place."
Trav took a year off from football last year while training for the gruelling Finke Desert Race but he couldn't step away from footy completely and picked up the umpire's whistle instead.
In a mark of the man he was he donated his umpire's match fees directly back to the Suns.
"I guess it was for the love of the game and for the love of the club," Scott said.
Trav's other great sporting love was motorbikes.
Naomi said he was riding bikes before he could drive.
He rode on Phillip Island and did a bike trip to Cape York.
"He rode whenever he could," Naomi said.
But his big test was the Fink Desert Race last year, which he successfully completed.
Trav was training for the event this year and planned to travel to support his mates, but not compete himself.
He regularly helped with the Chinchilla State School Trail Ride and even helped mark out its track.
But away from the sweat of the footy field and the dirt of the track, it was at home with his family that Trav was in his element.
Naomi spoke of their trips in the camper van to trail rides or to Chinchilla Weir with the ski boat.
His recent goal was to have all five family members skiing off one boat.
"We nearly got there," she smiled.
"He was just a real family man... That's who he was."
It was a sentiment echoed by his friends and Suns team mates Scott Bird and Matthew Boyd.
"He was all about his family," Scott said.
"He told me only a month ago that you've got to spend your money while you've got it because life's too short.
"Trav just did everything to the extreme, and I suppose that will be his legacy."
Travis Mitchell is survived by his wife, Naomi, daughter Brodee, and twin sons, Tristan and Reece.
Trav's life celebration will be held at Keating's Funeral Chapel in Chinchilla at a date to be confirmed.